Westlake Service Department crews are on a seven-day schedule trying to catch up on leaf collection after clean-up following Superstorm Sandy put them way behind.
How much storm debris has the city had to clean up? A lot, said Service Department director Paul Quinn III.
"We do brush pick-up all year 'round, and average about 5,000 cubic yards for the year," he said. "Just for the storm alone, we'll have picked up about 4,000 cubic yards by the time we're done."
All that debris meant that three of the city's seven street crews were diverted to storm clean-up, leaving four for leaf collection. As of Wednesday, Quinn said, five crews were devoted to leaf removal and a sixth crew should be back on leaf duty on Thursday.
You can keep track of where the city is in terms of leaf collection at the City of Westlake website. Progress is updated daily.
Quinn said he and other department managers will assess the situation early next week and see where it is in terms of collecting leaves. They will use the average seasonal collection figure of 25,000 cubic yards of leaves as the gauge.
Weather permitting, leaf collection is scheduled to run until Dec. 14.
City residents have been understanding and supportive of the city's efforts to catch up, Quinn said.
"By and large, the phone calls we've gotten have been telling us what a great job the crews have been doing," Quinn said. "We appreciate that."
Quinn offered some suggestions for residents when it comes to leaf collections:
- Rake your yard regularly. With the current schedule, it may be a while before collection trucks are back in your neighborhood.
- Make sure your leaf piles are free of debris. Sticks, branches, ornamental grasses and discarded plants can clog the vacuum. That puts city crews behind schedule while the vacuum is being repaired.
- Rake your leaves onto the treelawn and not into the street. Leaves on the street make roads dangerously slick when it rains. Also, leaves in the street can block storm drains, leading to street flooding.
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